Phillies Notes: Wells, Brown, Volquez and Harvey

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Phillies Notes: Wells, Brown, Volquez and Harvey

NEW YORK -- Maybe Casper Wells’ problems at the plate are as simple as this:

He can’t see.

Wells went 0 for 7 with four strikeouts in Saturday night’s 18-inning loss to Arizona. He also took the loss on the mound when the Phillies ran out of pitchers.

But the troubling part of Wells’ short time with the Phillies is this: He is 1 for 23 with eight strikeouts.

On Sunday, Wells went to manager Ryne Sandberg and admitted that he’s having trouble seeing the ball -- not just at the plate, everywhere, even in the outfield.

“The ball looks blurry to him,” Sandberg said.

The Phils placed Wells on the disabled list Monday and brought up utility man Pete Orr from Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Wells will be examined by eye specialists this week in Philadelphia.

GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wells had LASIK surgery last fall and has had some complications.

“He really hadn’t told anybody about it until now,” Amaro said. “He went to Ryne and said that he was fearful that he was going to get injured because he wasn’t able to pick up the ball, and he wasn’t able to play at an optimal level because he couldn’t see.

“You don’t know if he was struggling or not seeing the ball well, but obviously he was having those issues, so that could be part of it. He wasn’t making excuses. He just wants to get to the bottom of it.”

Overall this season, Wells has played for three teams and is hitting .128
(12 for 94) with 31 strikeouts.

Brown getting close
Domonic Brown was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game Monday night. He has battled some soreness in his right Achilles tendon since hitting the first base bag awkwardly Friday night.

Sandberg said the Phillies were not considering the disabled list for Brown.

“Just day to day,” Sandberg said.

Brown was available for pinch-hitting duty.

Volquez, maybe?
Far out of contention, the Phillies over the final weeks of the season are evaluating a number of players and their possible roles in the future. Roger Bernadina is getting looks in the outfield along with Darin Ruf. Cody Asche is being evaluated at third base. Roy Halladay’s health and effectiveness are being gauged. Even free-agent-to-be Carlos Ruiz is under the microscope.

Could Edinson Volquez be next? The right-hander has been released by San Diego.

“We’ve talked about it internally,” Amaro said.

Volquez went 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA for the Reds in 2008. He had Tommy John surgery the next year and has struggled to replicate that success. He had a 6.01 ERA in 27 starts for the Padres this season.

In 2010, Volquez was found in violation of MLB’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs and served a 50-game suspension.

Harvey shut down
Speaking of Tommy John surgery, the Mets shut down hard-throwing phenom Matt Harvey with a partially torn ulna collateral ligament on Monday (see story). Rest has been prescribed, but surgery is a possibility. If Harvey needs ligament-replacement surgery (Tommy John), he will likely miss next season.

The 24-year-old right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in five career starts against the Phillies. He has allowed just 15 hits and eight walks while striking out 38 in 33 1/3 innings against the Phillies.

Harvey was supposed to face the Phillies on Thursday. Right-hander Carlos Torres will fill that spot.

In the fraternity of baseball, no one is ever happy to hear of an injury, even when it happens to an opponent.

“He’s a bright star, one of the best we’ve seen this year,” Sandberg said. “You hate to see that. It’s a shame.”

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.

Best of MLB: Trout's 16th home run guides Angels past Marlins

Best of MLB: Trout's 16th home run guides Angels past Marlins

MIAMI -- Mike Trout hit his major league-leading 16th homer, and the Los Angeles Angels reached the .500 mark for the 12th time this season by beating Miami 5-2 Saturday.

Trout's first-inning homer into the beer garden in left field was estimated at 443 feet, which pleased a fair portion of the crowd at Marlins Park.

"Hate Fish Love Trout," read a sign held by an Angels fans.

J.C. Ramirez (5-3) limited Miami to an unearned run in seven innings and benefited from excellent defense. Bud Norris, who tweaked his right knee and left Friday's game after throwing only three pitches, gave up a homer to Marcell Ozuna in the ninth (see full recap).

Strasburg K's career-high 15, Nats down Padres 3-0
WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg dominated San Diego with a career-high 15 strikeouts while allowing three hits over seven innings as the Washington Nationals beat the Padres 3-0 on Saturday.

Strasburg (6-1) singled and scored Washington's first run on Bryce Harper's RBI grounder in the third inning. Michael A. Taylor hit a two-run homer for the second consecutive game.

San Diego's lineup offered little resistance against Strasburg the day after Max Scherzer dominated the Padres with 13 strikeouts in Washington's 5-1 win.

Strasburg struck out the side in the third and sixth and had at least two in the first six innings.

The right-hander previously struck out 14 batters twice including his Major League debut on June 8, 2010. He set a personal best by setting down Franchy Cordero in the seventh (see full recap).

Yankees held hitless into 6th by Cotton, but beat A's 3-2
NEW YORK -- Oakland rookie Jharel Cotton held the Yankees hitless until Matt Holliday launched a two-run homer with two outs in the sixth inning that sent resurgent CC Sabathia and New York to a 3-2 victory Saturday.

Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge was in the right spot for a pair of key catches to boost the AL East leaders, who won with just two hits.

Sabathia (5-2) has won three straight starts for the first time since April 2013. The 36-year-old lefty pitched into the seventh and struck out nine.

Dellin Betances escaped a second-and-third, one-out jam in the eighth, an inning that included the ejections of A's hitter Jed Lowrie and manager Bob Melvin for arguing strike three calls. Betances closed for his fifth save.

Cotton (3-5) was promoted from Triple-A Nashville before the game. He began the season in the Athletics' rotation but was sent down to the minors May 11 to refine his game (see full recap).

Bautista hits 3-run HR, Blue Jays beat Rangers 3-1
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer that backed Marco Estrada, and the Toronto Blue Bays beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 Saturday and matched their longest winning streak this season at five.

Shin-soo Choo homered into the center-field party deck on the first pitch of the game from Marco Estrada, but Bautista hit a two-out drive in the fifth, his eighth home run in May after one in April.

Estrada (4-2) allowed four hits in six innings to win for the third time in four starts. Aaron Loup got one out in the seventh, Ryan Tepera finished the inning and Joe Smith worked the eighth. Roberto Osuna threw a perfect ninth for his ninth save, completing a six-hitter.

Darvish (5-3) gave up three runs and five hits in six innings. He had been 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA in six starts since losing April 18 at Oakland. Texas has lost five in a row for the first time this year (see full recap).